Diary from the Downs: From one festival to another at Goodwood

Adam Waterworth is looking forward to the August Bank Holiday Weekend action at Goodwood  C140683-10
Adam Waterworth is looking forward to the August Bank Holiday Weekend action at Goodwood C140683-10

With Glorious Goodwood only a fortnight behind us, we’re well into the planning for our next big event – the August Bank Holiday Weekend, writes racecourse MD Adam Waterworth.

It comes round very quickly after Glorious but we’ll be ready for what should be a fabulous long weekend.

The racing highlight will be the Molson Coors Celebration Mile, a Group 2 contest that’s our biggest race outside of Glorious. In fact, the whole line-up for the Saturday of the holiday weekend wouldn’t look out of place at our five-day festival.

There are 23 entries at this stage for the Celebration Mile and they include a number of horses who ran well here a couple of weeks ago. There’s Aidan O’Brien’s Darwin, Mark Johnston’s Muteela and Bow Creek and Belgian Bill from George Baker’s yard.

The other big races of the weekend are the Prestige Stakes and a £100,000 handicap on Saturday and the Supreme Stakes on Sunday.

The Prestige Stakes, for two-year-olds, was won last year by Amazing Maria and often shows off horses that go on to do very well.

There’s plenty going on away from the track, too.

On the Friday, we’re trying for the first time post-racing music and a big fireworks display to launch the weekend. The music will be a rock’n’roll band on the East Parade Lawn and they’ll play for about 45 minutes before the fireworks in front of the stands.

We’re running with the British seaside holidays of yesteryear as our theme again – it’s just something that works well.

So we’ll have a beach, deckchairs and, in the Lennox Enclosure, lots of funfair rides and the children’s playground. We’ll also have face-painters and other entertainers.

The whole weekend will be family-orientated – a different atmosphere to Glorious, but no less enjoyable for those who come.

We did well with spectator numbers at the festival and next weekend looks like continuing that theme. Advance sales have been very good and if the sun shines, we’d be confident there’ll be very big crowds for each day.

Also on out agenda for the next couple of weeks is to look back at Glorious – what worked well and what needs looking at. We did have some traffic issues on some days which need attention, but the racing, I think all will agree, was great.

See a full preview of the August Bank Holiday Weekend in the Observer on Thursday and tips on this website